Last week, readers heard from the Democratic candidates for the Third Congressional District (CD3) race. Now, it’s time to hear from the Republican incumbent, Representative Lauren Boebert, and GOP challenger, Don Coram. The Sopris Sun got the chance to ask a few questions of these Republican candidates.
Representative Boebert is nearing the end of her first term in office — her first bout in politics — and is determined for a second.
What do you consider were your greatest accomplishments during your first term?
“I kept my promise and fought the good fight,” Rep. Boebert began. “In Congress, I’ve done exactly what I said I was going to do in my Contract with Colorado that I introduced when I first ran for office. I’ve put America first.”
She continued, “I’ve provided better care for veterans, fought federal land grabs and kept my oath to defend the Constitution — including the Second Amendment. I’ve fought the deep state. I’ve worked to bring free market reforms to reduce healthcare prices in rural Colorado. I’ve stood for life. I’ve fought globalists. I’ve introduced real solutions to the Biden border crisis. I’ve supported American energy. I’ve voted against tax increases. I’ve voted against raising the national debt. I’ve supported school choice and I’ve held myself accountable to the people of Colorado. I’ve never wavered in my beliefs once, and I’ve always voted with my conscience. What you see is what you get and I’ve stayed true to my rural Colorado roots.”
Are there aspects to serving in congress you can improve upon?
“My only regret in Congress is that there are only 24 hours in a day. I wish I could spend all day, every day meeting people across CD3 to take all of your stories to Congress. I have spent countless days traveling across CD3 and I have met some of the most amazing people in the world — from veterans who have incredible stories about sacrificing for our country to law enforcement officers courageously protecting our communities; from teachers working to train up the next generation to a single mom working two jobs to support her kids. I truly believe that I represent the best group of people in the entire country and I only hope that I am worthy of the trust they have placed in me. Not a day goes by that I am not humbled by the responsibility they have given me and I hope to do well by them.”
Congress is divided and gets little accomplished. What have you done to fix this? And, what would you continue to do?
“As a member of the minority, I speak up as loudly as I can to make sure bad bills and bad policies are exposed and opposed.”
For example, said Rep. Boebert, “[President] Joe Biden was fully prepared to hand out $450,000 to illegal immigrants until I spoke up about it and introduced a bill. Because of my public pressure campaign, they dropped this proposal.”
She continued, “I’ve been laying the groundwork for a Republican majority, introducing bills that will help get the country back on track, put a stop to the woke madness that is infiltrating everything from our military to womens’ sports, get our fiscal house in order, deliver solutions for CD3 and get the government off the backs of our citizens so they can live free and prosper.”
What are your top three goals, should you be elected to another term?
Number one, “Fulfill my oath to protect the Constitution from any and all threats posed to it by the Biden administration. I successfully led the charge to stop the Disinformation Governance Board from infringing on our First Amendment rights and I am ready to fight future unconstitutional power grabs.”
Second, “Advocate for policies that matter most to rural Colorado, like passing my Active Forest Management, Wildfire Prevention, and Community Protection Act [introduced July 1, 2021] to mitigate the risk of wildfires to our communities, increase resources for rural communities by reinvesting forestry revenue into local priorities and improve the ecological health of our forests. Additionally, I’d like to pass my I-70 Detour Act [introduced April 14] to study alternatives to I-70 through the Glenwood Canyon and prevent closures, reduce traffic for local communities and increase Colorado’s emergency preparedness.”
Lastly, “Be a leading voice for conservative policies. When Republicans take back the House in November, many RINOs [Republicans in name only] will backtrack on their promises to voters and start legislating like [Senator] Mitch McConnell. I was appointed to the Future of American Freedoms Task Force to make sure that Republicans have our plans in order for when we take back the House. I will work as hard as I can to hold others accountable and make sure that we keep our promise to legislate like conservatives.”
Don Coram announced his candidacy for CD3 in January 2022. He brings with him over a decade of experience legislating from Colorado’s General Assembly.
What led you to become a candidate for CD3?
“Well I’ve lived a long time, that’s the first thing; and you get a lot of experience if you live long enough.” Coram grew up on a farm and ranch operation in Montrose County and later built upon his father’s livestock business.
“I got involved in politics several years ago,” he told The Sopris Sun. Frustrated with the direction the Republican Party was taking, he decided to participate and was appointed as second vice-chair of the Montrose County Republican Central Committee. In that role, he helped Scott Tipton run successfully for the Colorado State House of Representatives and later assumed that seat himself when Tipton was elected to represent CD3 in 2010.
Coram went on to the state senate in 2017, representing District 6. The recent redistricting left Coram without a seat and he was encouraged to pursue the congressional position.
Congress is divided and gets little accomplished. What could you do about this?
“You need to change the culture. I remember the days — let’s go back to Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill, two opposite members … but they knew how to work together. You need to work for solutions and not call on Republican or Democrat issues — it’s American solutions that we need to solve. I’m a centrist, there’s no doubt about it, but center-left and center-right are not too far off.”
He continued, “I’m going to go back to the founding of our nation. In his farewell address, President Washington said, ‘the biggest threat to our young republic [is] excessive partisanship’ and putting their self interests before the needs of the nation … and we’re right there, right now.”
What are your top three goals, should you be elected?
First, “To create a coalition of people where we can actually accomplish passing legislation. When it’s all one party for and one party against, that doesn’t work. You need someone that is a negotiator … In a good piece of legislation, probably neither party gets everything they want.”
Coram said that he’s been criticized for negotiating, to which he replies, “the signers of the Declaration of Independence took 56 days to get to that resolution; and putting time, effort and work into coming up with resolutions is what I intend to do.”
Next, and again pointing out his background in agriculture and natural resources, Coram stated, “I’m very concerned that if we’re not careful we’re looking at a food shortage.” He mentioned that his friends in agriculture were paying $2 a gallon for diesel last year compared to $5 a gallon as of late.
“I’m concerned that a lot of our agricultural producers may not be profitable … I’m concerned that we’re going to end up with a lot of farm sales. We’ve already got 40% of our produce coming from outside the U.S. borders. I’m concerned that we’ll be more reliant on foreign countries for our food and a nation that cannot feed itself cannot survive.”
Lastly, “I spent 12 years in the General Assembly on ag and natural resources, and water is a big deal. We’re looking at the 100-year anniversary of the [Colorado River] Compact and there’s going to be some conversations about that.” Coram noted that the compact was made during “wetter” times compared to the current drought. “I think it’s vital that we have someone with some knowledge and background in water to be the voice of Colorado when we’re talking about that issue.”
Boebert and Coram faced off in their first debate in Ignacio — outside of Durango — on Thursday, May 26. A subsequent debate has not yet been scheduled. The primary occurs June 28.